The Met Costume Insistute Gala is the rare event where real fashion walks the red carpet—and we get to judge. Let’s forget about the punk theme though, because there’s no way anyone on that red carpet is really a punk, and anyone dressing as such is in costume. Let’s focus on the punk ethos instead—sticking it to the man. Herein, in no particular order, the nine most notable looks.
1. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen (vintage Chanel and Dior)
Pretty sure M-K and A can do no wrong when it comes to, um, anything fashion (designing, dressing, impressing). They made their vintage gowns (or dressing gowns, in Mary-Kate’s case), from two of the world’s most iconic couture houses, look downright cool—like they’d stepped out of a hippie, boudoir fairytale.
2. Gwen Stefani (Margiela)
Vogue-approved yummy-mummy Gwen Stefani is the kind of woman who can wear black and white and still look like a rock star. While some might call her white column and black sash top boring, I call it simple and sophisticated, and—dare I say it?—a little punk if only in the fact that she’s not screaming for attention.
3. Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs (Marc Jacobs and Comme des Garcons, respectively)
These two may be the only genuine designer-date duo on the red carpet because they’re actually good friends. They’re also cute enough to kind of match, wearing Jacob’s favourite: pajama-inspired outfits. (I was right!) Also, Coppola’s silver lamé suit reminds me a bit of a last minute disco-night-out.
4. Riccardo Tisci and Rooney Mara (Givenchy Haute Couture)
Tisci and Mara were like last night’s bride and groom (even if their facial expressions are more indicative of funereal activities)— everybody wanted to hang out with them or (more likely) take pictures of them. Also, they dressed the part: Tisci in a dashing tux, and Mara in what might be the coolest bridal gown ever, replete with zippers and lace and a white leather belt.
5. Lauren Santo Domingo (Dolce & Gabbana)
It’s Lauren Santo Domingo’s party, and she can cry if she wants to—she’s holds the key to New York’s social registrar and served as gala co-chair. Not that she would, especially while wearing a lightly outrageous, grandmother’s curtains-reminiscent Dolce and Gabbana gown.
6. Nicole Richie (Topshop)
Nicole Richie is having a renaissance—I forgot that she was as funny and entertaining as she is until I saw her new AOL series (if you haven’t watched it, do here) and laughed out loud. This spiky white hair, vaguely bridal look is a reminder of her sense of humour—calling out the laughability of fashion’s elite dressing as punks (or maybe I’m giving her too much credit?). Either way, this Topshop (!!) dress is pretty gorgeous on its own.
7. Carine Roitfeld (Givenchy)
Carine Roitfeld supports her man, and she’s long been a loyalist of Riccardo Tisci. Not that it would be hard. The French editor’s look is a riff on Givenchy’s beautifully poetic fall collection. Bambi’s presence shrugs off any seriousness (as represented by the designer and his date). Also, Carine has the legs of someone half her age (this woman is a grandmother!) and deserves to show them off.
8. Gaia Repossi (Dior Haute Couture)
Gaia Repossi, who designs an eponymous, ultra-desirable, fine jewellery collection, seems to only wear what I like to call, the French Four: Givenchy, Celine, Balenciaga and Dior. In other words, she probably possesses the most incredible wardrobe in the world. Here, she went with the last of the group, donning Dior Haute Couture and what could easily become the house’s signature evening silhouette under Raf Simons’s rigorous hand: the ball gown split over cigarette pants.
9. Stella Tennant (Christopher Kane)
Stella Tennant is a perennial favourite of mine—she pretty much always looks like a badass. The Met Gala was no exception. Her silk pants and Where The Wild Things Are sweater are a red carpet rebellion, even if her coifed hair and major ear décor are high glamour. Christopher Kane wears the happy-smug look well.